San Antonio Spurs

"Being a Spur ain’t easy"

The Spurs might be four-time NBA champions, just don’t expect them to act like four-time NBA champions. In today’s fast paced, `Johnny come lately’ world we live in, athletes never know when the endorsement deals are going to simply shrivel up and blow away. So when they’re there you gotta grab `em; even if it means dressing up like a cowboy and pushing milk to the masses.

Hey, it was either do the cowboy thing or don the beatnik outfits again. Good choice guys.


[The Big Lead]: Two Videos, One Post

Orlando Magic

Around the Rim: It’s no illusion, the Magic are for real

1. Road warriors
It took an extra five minutes to get the job done, but the Magic continued their winning ways by outscoring the league’s highest scoring team in an East vs. West track meet. 240 total points were scored as Orlando downed Golden State 123-117 in Oakland. Dwight Howard almost cost his team the game when he picked up a technical late in the game, but he still gets `Beast of the Game’ honors for collecting 18 points, 23 rebounds and seven blocks. Jameer Nelson almost had himself a triple-dip as he finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists. Orlando is still giving Boston a run for their money in conference race. The squads are currently tied for first place, but the Celtics (14-2 – .875) have a better statistical record than the Magic (16-4 – .800)

2. TD’s knee screen is clean

Gregg Popovich felt his heart sink into the pit of his stomach when Tim Duncan crumpled to the parquet on Sunday and was subsequently carried off the floor by his teammates. Well, Pop’s heart started beating again on Monday afternoon when doctors discovered no significant damage to the two-time MVP’s right knee or right ankle. There’s still no concrete timetable for when Duncan will return to the lineup for the silver and black, but the team spokesman confirmed that TD would miss the rivalry game against the Mavericks. We’re figuring that the Spurs are going to sit Duncan until he’s absolutely, undoubtedly, 100 percent healthy. Popovich ain’t no fool; he’d much rather take the extra losses than rush his goldmine back on the court too soon and risk further damage.

3. Score one for the Americans
By many accounts, Steve Nash is just about the best thing to happen to basketball since the shot clock went into effect. Other people can’t believe he has more MVPs than guys like Allen Iverson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett or David Robinson, to name a few. Either way you look at it, he’s about all Canada’s got when it comes to international competition. Correction: `he’s about all Canada had.

On playing for the Canadians in the 2008 Olympics, should they qualify:

I would say no, but I can’t really talk about it until the situation arrives and this season’s come to a conclusion,” Nash said. “But in my mind right now, I’m not going to play for Canada anymore. I just can’t do both.

Okay, can someone talk Manu Ginobili out of playing now?

Monday’s Player of the Day: Carlos Boozer vs. Miami 40 min, 24 pts (FG: 10-18, FT: 4-6), 15 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Phoenix (13-4) @ Indiana (9-9)
Phoenix’s three All-Stars have been playing accordingly all year long, but now they’re benefiting from a former All-Star who’s looking a lot like a youngster who use to dazzle in a Detroit uniform. Grant Hill might be 35 years old according to his birth certificate, but 28 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals certainly doesn’t sound like the production of someone who should be using the Clapper and watching The Peoples Court according to young NBA standards. On the other side of the court, the Pacers are sporting a crew of anti-Hills. They’re young and wild and you never know what you’re going to get, good or bad. This has the potential to be a nail-biter or a blowout, just depends on which crew shows up next for coach Jim O’Brien.

Buzzer Beater: We’re seriously starting to worry about Gilbert Arenas. The guy has always been a little loopy, but now that he’s injured and without the mental drain of basketball, there’s a lot of crazy stuff backing up in his cranium. Not only is he pushing a shoe that comes with a dry erase marker so you can write messages on your kicks, but he’s also devoting his time to a project known as GilTV. It’s an interesting endeavor to say the least. Still, those aren’t the oddest tidbits of information that Agent 0 reveals in his blog.

So, Gilbert, why don’t you like to take pain pills?

I didn’t take the pills for two reasons:

1. I’m against pills in general. I think it’s a coward’s way to deal with pain. You take some pills, then the pills get you sleepy.

2. The main reason is though that it blocked my stomach up last time and I couldn’t use the restroom. I couldn’t use the restroom for like five days, and I didn’t want to go through that pain again.


San Antonio Spurs

Around the Rim: San Antoni-oh no!

1. San Antonio plays the waiting game
The Spurs grabbed their 15th victory of the season, but the win was meaningless as the organization waits patiently for the results of an MRI on Tim Duncan’s right leg on Monday. Duncan was injured in the second quarter when he tried to spin around Portland’s James Jones and then suddenly fell to the floor, clutching his knee. The immediate diagnosis was a bruised right knee and sprained right ankle and the Spurs said their star would defiantly miss some time. The injury couldn’t have occurred at a worse time as the Spurs are looking a stretch that includes six games in 13 days against some of the West’s best, including Dallas, Utah, Golden State, the Lakers, Denver and Phoenix. Ouch!

As for the game itself, SA was winning 34-28 when Duncan departed, but Portland was unable to capitalize, falling down by 13 points at halftime and 20 after three quarters. Tony Parker finished with 27 points and eight assists to lead the Spurs.

2. Boston exacts revenge, kinda

Last Tuesday, LeBron James torched the Celtics for 38 points while handing out 13 assists to give Boston its second loss of the season in an overtime instant classic. On Sunday, the two teams met for a rematch and the Celtics rolled the defending Eastern Conference champs, 80-70. Oh, did we mention LBJ missed the game, his second consecutive, with an injured finger? Cleveland hung tough with the Celtics in the first half, trailing by four at the break, but they displayed serious offensive ineptitude down the stretch without the league’s top scorer. The Cavs could only muster 11 points in the third before scoring 20 in the fourth, 12 coming in garbage time when the game was well in hand. With the King out of the lineup, two of the Leprechauns `Big Three’ basically got to take the afternoon off. Kevin Garnett finished with nine points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes while Paul Pierce had seven points. Ray Allen finished with a game-high 20 points to lead the unusually, unexplosive Celtics.

3. 21 and done
November 1999: That was the last time that New Orleans defeated Dallas; until Saturday. It took overtime, a last-second trey from Peja Stojakovic in regulation and another big-time performance from Chris Paul, but the result was well worth the effort as the Hornets snapped a 21-game losing streak to the Mavs. Thanks to Paul’s near triple-double (33 pts, 9 reb, 12 ast), NOLA is now sitting in second place in the Southwest Division – ahead of Dallas and Houston. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a one-man show: Stojakovic is killing opponents from behind the arc while David West and Tyson Chandler are providing some seriously underrated post presence. Oh, and the Spurs are the only team in the West that holds opponents to fewer than Nawlins’ 93.3 points per game. Next up for the Hornets is a game against the Pistons in the `Hive,’ followed by contests at home against Memphis and Seattle.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Chris Kaman vs. Indiana 40 min, 22 pts (FG: 7-14, FT: 8-10), 22 reb, 1 ast, 5 blk

Monday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (15-4) @ Golden State (9-7)
Nobody in the NBA is hotter than the Magic or the Warriors after both picked up victories last night over the Lakers and Sonics, respectively. There were some early season questions surrounding the slow-starting Warriors, but everything fell into place when Stephen Jackson returned from his suspension and Golden State is back to their run-and-run-and-run-and-gun style offense, averaging 108.6 points per game (1st). Of course, those points at the rim won’t be easy to come by with Dwight Howard patrolling the paint. Howard is off to a `Defensive Player of the Year’ start to the season, leading the league in rebounds (15.0 rpg) and ranking third in blocks (2.67 bpg).

Buzzer Beater: Stephon Marbury is known for making outlandish statements, so it was no surprise that he was at it again before the Knicks played the Suns on Sunday.

After all the hoopla, we’ve won three of the last four,” Marbury said. “Normally when that happens, you’re getting praised.

“At the end of the season, we’ll be where we want to be.

Wait, do you guys want to be in the lottery because 5-11 teams that get decimated by 45 points don’t usually make the playoffs. We’re just saying.

Orlando Magic

Around the Rim: Celtics streak snapped

1. Orlando really is “The Most Magical Place On Earth”
It must be an early Christmas miracle because we were certain the Celtics had 82-0 all wrapped up. Guess they’re looking at 81-1 now because the Magic just ripped the bow off that idea. Sorry ESPN.

Boston made a valiant effort to keep their pursuit of perfection intact but Paul Pierce’s miss at the end of regulation left the Cs two points short of forcing overtime. Pierce had 28 in the game, Ray Allen put up 19 and KG went for 14 and nine rebounds. The Magic were anemic in the fourth, going four minutes without a basket as the Celtics made their run to come back from 20 down. Still, all five Orlando starters finished with double-digit points, led by Dwight Howard’s 24 and Rashard Lewis’ 22. But the Magic failed to crash the boards in this game, getting outrebounded by 13, 41-28. Howard inexplicably finished with six despite ranking second in the league with 14.2 per game.

2. S-Jack is back

Golden State finally got off the schneid on Friday when they picked up their first win of the season by thumping the Clippers 122-105. On Sunday, Stephen Jackson returned to the floor after serving a seven-game suspension and helped his boyz grab their second consecutive victory. Jackson led the team in scoring with 17 points and collected a couple of blocks in the 106-100 win over the Raptors. The return of the team’s bad boy couldn’t have come at a better time. The Warriors start an east coast road trip on Tuesday, playing games at New York, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia before hosting Phoenix next Monday.

3. Stars struck
The All-Star 2008 ballots are out and thanks to some realignment of positions, Tim Duncan and Amare Stoudemire are getting screwed. Arguably the West’s two most dominant power forwards got plopped into the “Centers” classification on the ballot. So, obviously we can remove their names from the West’s starting five for the February 17 superstar showdown because the Chinese population will ensure Yao Ming gets the nod. We know that they will both find their way onto the team barring any major injuries, but it is a shame that they won’t get the honor of being voted in because the league is unfairly categorizing them. Sure, both play some center, but we all know they are 4s at heart. And the league listed them as such in years past. This is like throwing Kevin Garnett into the “Guards” because he brings the ball up the court a handful of times each game.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: TJ Ford vs. Golden State 33 min, 29 pts (FG: 12-22, 3FG: 0-1, FT: 5-5), 6 reb, 9 ast, 2 stl

Monday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (9-2) @ New Orleans (9-2)
The Magic are coming off the biggest win of their young season after taking out the Celtics in Orlando. Now the Magic must take their unblemished road record (6-0) into N’awlins against the cream of the Southwest Division. Chris Paul leads the Hornets’ attack, averaging 19.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 10.8 assists per game while Tyson Chandler is pulling down a double-double of his own every night with 11.4 points and 11.5 boards. But you can’t mention the phrase “double-double” without bringing up Orlando’s Dwight Howard. The 21-year-old accomplished the feat in nine of 11 games this year. Howard is really starting to develop some chemistry with point guard Jameer Nelson and the off-season addition of Rashard Lewis has paid dividends immediately.

Buzzer Beater: The NBA is truly losing one its legends with the imminent retirement of Gary Payton. The Glove had a great career and even though Michael Jordan kept him from putting on an ornate, diamond-clad band in the 90s, D-Wade gave him the title of champion that he earned over his 17 years in the Association. Payton’s all-time rankings are as follows: 21st in points, 8th in game played, 6th in assists and 3rd in steals. Needless to say, we all have our favorite memories of the guy. Unfortunately, as much as it pains us to admit this, ours is the same as J.A. Adande’s. Lord help us.

San Antonio Spurs

Around the Rim: The boys (and babes) are back in town!

1. Life is good in San Antonio
Sure, the Spurs got a new banner for the AT&T Center and, yes, they received some shiny new rings from the commish, but those weren’t even close to being the highlight of San Antonio’s day. That’s because Tim Duncan agreed in principle to sign the dotted line of a two-year, $40 million contract extension that will keep him sporting silver and black through the 2011-12 season. The Big Fundamental immediately paid dividends with team-highs in points (24) and rebounds (13) as San Antonio defeated Portland 106-97. All in all, that’s a pretty big day for the best power forward on the face of the planet, and his team.

2. You sure you want to get rid of this guy?

Remember all that talk about how Kobe Bryant just isn’t trying hard enough for the team? Well, you can nix that idea after one game because in the Lakers’ season opener, Bryant went off for 45 points against the Rockets in a 95-93 defeat. In fact, the Lakers could have possibly won the game if it hadn’t been for Shane Battier’s 3-pointer with under three seconds remaining. We know that the tension is reaching new heights between Kobe and Phil Jackson and between Kobe and the Lakers, but Los Angeles should probably do everything they can to keep their superstar at this point. First off, there is no way they can ever get equal value for someone that talented and secondly, he led the Lakers in every major statistical category last night. If this is how Kobe plays when he’s pouting, just wait until he has something to smile about…if he has something to smile about.

3. The Warriors pick up right where they left off
The Warriors are probably pretty sick of seeing the Utah Jazz at this point. After putting an end to Golden State’s playoff party last year, the Jazz opened this season with a 117-96 win over Don Nelson’s club. The dynamic duo of Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams paid off again for the Jazz as they combined 56 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists. Heck, even the disgruntled Andrei Kirilenko produced for the club as he just missed out on a triple-double with nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists. The Warriors made it interesting in the final quarter, but without Stephen Jackson in the lineup (suspended, of course), Golden State just didn’t have enough firepower to hang.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Kobe Bryant vs. Houston 43 min, 45 pts (FG: 13-32, 3FG: 1-3, FT: 18-27), 8 reb, 4 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Dallas (0-0) @ Cleveland (0-0)

It would be awfully tough to find any teams with worse tastes in their mouths than either the Mavericks or the Cavaliers. Both teams had great regular seasons last year and then both of them got absolutely humiliated in the postseason. In case you’ve already forgotten, the Cavs managed to win the East but went cold against San Antonio in the Finals. On the other side of the map, Dallas virtually coasted to 67 wins before having their hopes smashed by Don Nelson’s small ball. Now, we can’t predict what’s going to happen after the regular season concludes, but we can pretty much guarantee these two are going to be major players in their conferences. Both teams will probably be a little rusty to start the year, but LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki on the same court are must watch television any day of the year.

Buzzer Beater: The dream of dueling rookies was cut short after Greg Oden needed microfracture surgery before the season, but when the rookies are this good then having just one really isn’t all that bad. Kevin Durant sprained his left knee and his status for the season opener was up in the air until he had a good practice on Monday. Now it’s starting to look like the Nuggets should be more concerned about Durant’s health than the Sonics. Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo basically said it’s the kid’s call; if he feels good, he’ll be starting the game. And should that happen, all the other rooks out there can basically kiss that ROY trophy goodbye.

San Antonio Spurs

Someone should tell the Spurs trainer to start reading the expiration dates

This year marked the first time in Tim Duncan’s stellar career that he didn’t win the NBA Finals MVP after guiding the Spurs to a championship; instead, it was Tony Parker who stole the show and the trophy. Now, we thought something stunk about the lil’ Frenchman snatching up the award and now we have the video evidence to back up what we suspected all along: Parker was poisoning Duncan’s Gatorade in order to become the best player on the floor!

Sacre bleu!!

NBA General

Around the Rim: Cleveland is starting to look a little silly

3-D disappointment

1. LeBroom??
Dorothy said that there was no place like home but it’s the Cavaliers who are praying that the words are true because after getting hammered in the first two games of the NBA Finals, Cleveland could definitely use a little home court advantage. Thanks to another dominating effort by the Spurs, the three time champions are now only two wins away from becoming four time champs as Tony Parker (30 points), Manu Ginobili (25) and Tim Duncan (23) combined for 78 of the Spurs points in a 103-92 spanking that gives SA a huge 2-0 lead. The Cavs were able to put together another late run but all it did was make it kinda interesting at the end. Unfortunately, LeBron James‘ poor shooting and early foul trouble put them in such a deep hole that not even Big Z could poke his head out. Everybody knew coming into this series that it was going to be a franchise (the Spurs) versus a franchise (LeBron), but this is starting to get ridiculous. The Cavs have got to be able to weather the storm when LBJ is struggling if they are going to win a championship. They better hope that the home crowd can jumpstart this club and energize them to a couple of victories because if things continue at this pace we could be seeing a SA celebration in Cleveland on Thursday night.

2. Arenas wants to stay, but only if you pay

Gilbert Arenas wants you to know that he’s planning on bolting from the Wizards next season. He’s not saying that in so many words but it’s true. But don’t get down on yourself if you’re a Washington fan, it has nothing to do with you; Agent 0 also wants you to know that he’s leaving for the money. At least the guy is honest. Still, his timing could probably use a little work because now this is going to have to be a story for an entire season before it even becomes a story next off-season. We’re guessing that as long as he can manage to stay injury free then he’ll be following his nose all the way to a big time pay day and straight out of D.C. So, enjoy it while it lasts Wizards fans because this is going to be one long, long good-bye tour.

Game 2’s MVP: Tim Duncan vs. Cleveland 36 min, 23 pts (FG: 9-16, FT: 5-7), 9 reb, 8 ast

Buzzer Beater: J.R. Smith was in a nasty car accident on Sunday in which he got tossed from his vehicle but managed to escape without serious injuries, however he is still being treated in the hospital. Unfortunately, his passenger is in much worse condition as he fights for his life. Apparently, Smith drove right through a stop sign and collided with another car in New Jersey and overturned, tossing both Smith and his friend, Andre Bell, from the SUV. And if that isn’t enough bad news for the Nuggets, DerMarr Johnson was charged with resisting arrest and interfering with police at a Colorado nightclub. The boys in blue eventually tasered his ass and took him and two women to jail. Johnson’s lawyer said that DerMarr was just trying to break up a fight between the two ladies. If Johnson was smart he would have taken the Carmelo Anthony approach and just run the hell away from any confrontation.

NBA General

Around the Rim: The finals are finally underway

1. King sized stage fright
Everyone seems to be pulling for the Cavaliers in the finals but we’re not hearing too many people bet against the Spurs in the series and in Game 1, San Antonio showed why. The Spurs cruised to an easy 85-76 victory in which the Cavs were close at times but never challenged the former champs. Of course, it’s going to be tough for Cleveland to win a game against anyone when their being led in scoring by Daniel Gibson (16 points). With all the LeBron James talk that has been shoved down our throats since Game 5 of the East Finals, the young King didn’t look anything like MJ or Magic or Bird or any other legend for that matter. LBJ finished with just 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting that included a dismal 0-for-7 first half and Bruce Bowen gets to accept a majority of the credit for that. Cleveland can not win when James plays like he did but the Cavs are really going to be up a certain, smelly creek without a paddle if Tim Duncan and Tony Parker continue getting everything they want offensively. Parker had a game-high 27 points as his interior penetration (Huh-huh; we said penetration) carved up the Cleveland defense like a Thanksgiving turkey. And Tim Duncan was, well, Tim Duncan; do we really need to say any more than that?

2. Orlando tells Donovan to go to hell

It was getting pretty sticky in Orlando after Billy Donovan did one of the fastest 180 degree turns in the history of professional sports. But the Magic are ready to forget all about ol’ what’s his name and quickly solidify their young club with a committed head coach. And even though it cost `em a second-round pick, Orlando got their man in Stan Van Gundy; hopefully SVG sticks around a little longer. Donovan might be kicking himself in a year or two when Dwight Howard develops an offensive game and begins ripping off division and, possibly, conference titles. Van Gundy has got to be pinching himself when he looks at his new roster; his boys might be young and raw but their potential is almost unlimited. And you know that those players are going to hold a grudge against Billy the Kid for this slap in the face. Opposing centers should beware if Howard starts playing with a chip on his shoulder.

3. It’s time to put the Super back in front of Sonics
Seattle finally landed a GM but he’s no grizzled veteran at the helm of an NBA ship, in fact he’s just a 30-year-old kid. Sam Presti is now the man in Seattle and he’s gonna have his hands full right off the bat considering that the Sonics are minus a head coach at the moment. In addition to that, they have the enviable task of making the second selection in the NBA Draft at the end of the month. But what has our wheels turning is that this kid might just be ballsy enough to make some noise with his current high pick. The most interesting scenario we’ve heard is Seattle trading the second pick (a.k.a. Kevin Durant) and Ray Allen to the Lakers for Mr. On Again/Off Again, Kobe Bryant. Then again, he could decide to cut ties with Rashard Lewis and bring in a complimentary player to play alongside Allen and Durant (we’re not jumping the gun are we?). Or they could always just stay pat with what they got if Lewis decides not to get swept away in the free agent waters. About the only thing we do know is that Seattle is on their way up, no matter what moves they decide to make.

Game 1’s MVP: Tim Duncan vs. Cleveland 39 min, 24 pts (FG: 10-17, FT: 4-5), 13 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 5 blk

Buzzer Beater: Listen, LeBron James is a freakin’ amazing player and he has the possibility to become on of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of sneaks, but these constant references to Michael Jordan are driving us up the wall. And finally, we repeat, finally, someone stepped up and said what everybody already knows. “I’m not going to compare him to Michael Jordan,” said Gary Payton on the Best Damn Sports Show. “There will never be a Michael Jordan in basketball again.” Hey, we like trying to compare guys from different eras as much as anyone but this whole Jordan thing has just gone overboard. And it’s not just with LBJ; Kobe Bryant gets the same stupid comparisons. Just leave it alone already and don’t try to categorize these guys anymore. Actually, if James or Bryant ever reaches the six ring plateau then we give you permission to label them lil’ Michael to your heart’s content.

NBA General

Around the Rim: The NBA Draft wars have begun

1. Kevin Durant didn’t do himself any favors
Kevin Durant was unanimously chosen as the best player in college basketball last season but it certainly looks like he’s going to be playing second fiddle to Greg Oden when the draft comes rolling around at the end of the month. While Oden impressed the heck out of some scouts, Durant couldn’t even bench 185 pounds and finished 78th out of 80th prospects who showed up to Orlando last week. Oden did significantly better in the vertical leap, an agility drill and finished with a better time in a three-quarter court sprint. Looks like Kevin better get used to idea of playing in Seattle. Wait, didn’t this happen to a Longhorn once before? Ah, yes; some guy named Vince Young blew the nonexistent roof off the Rose Bowl and then everyone started questioning him after a pathetic Wonderlic score. Last we checked, V.Y. was the R.O.Y., but only time will tell if Durant can do the same.

2. Ladies and gentleman, Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr made his debut as the Suns’ general manager on Wednesday and his first order of business was to crack up the media with a sarcastic answer to a question of his plans for the Suns. “I’m going to shop Nash immediately,” Kerr said. Not a bad start; but what does the reporter think he’s gonna say. What’s up with all these people saying that teams like Phoenix and Dallas should be blown up because they didn’t bring home the trophy. Obviously these guys came up short in the postseason…again, but teams that win 60+ games don’t need to be blown up. Tweaking is all that’s needed for these guys; tweaking of expectations that is. Just because you win the regular season doesn’t mean your gonna win the postseason; sometimes it’s just a few tough breaks that can cost a series or even a championship. Listen, disappointment is tough but the West is even tougher. But don’t forget that persistence pays you guys, it took San Antonio over a decade of David Robinson disappointment before their big break came.

Buzzer Beater: And we are finally less than 24 hours away from the NBA finals between the Cavs and Spurs and it’s a good thing because we’re getting ready to pop at the seams. For as much hate as the NBA gets, this should shape up to a pretty good series. On one side you’ve got the future of the league in LeBron James and on the other side you’ve got the best player of his generation in Tim Duncan; unfortunately for James, in addition to having a ton of championship experience and some of the toughest defense in the league, Duncan also has another pair of All-Stars on his side of the court. Cleveland has some solid players but there shouldn’t be any doubt in any fan’s mind that the Cavs are completely outclassed. Well, those Cavalier fans might not agree with that but they know it’s true deep down inside. That’s not to say that we’re going to have a sweep on our hands; LBJ is good enough to single handedly carry his team to victory on any given night, but the question is can he do that four times? Probably not; once or twice is more likely. San Antonio knows how important these first two games at home will be because with a Golden State-esque electricity running through the building in Cleveland it’s gonna be really tough to grab more than one victory battling that type of emotion.

NBA General

Around the Rim: The Spurs are celebrating again

Wonder how the lil’ Frenchman is gonna
commemorate the event?

1. And that’s how the West is won
Most people figured that the Spurs wouldn’t be returning to Salt Lake City after they grabbed a Game 4 victory on Monday, and it turns out that most people were right. San Antonio came out of the gates with guns blazing and the Jazz were overwhelmed from the opening tip as the Spurs ended the series with a 109-84 victory that put them into the NBA finals for the fourth time since 1999. The Spurs stars had plenty of time to rest during the game but now they still have a whole week to kill before the finals kick off next Thursday. And with a veteran team for the most part, San Antonio will definitely opt for a chance to rest over the risk of rust. The Jazz have a lot to build on with Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams in the lineup, but as long as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are teamed up in SA, it is going to be tough for anyone to get past this squad.

2. Kobe’s flip-flopping like a fish

Well the Kobe Bryant rollercoaster took some unexpected turns on Wednesday when the Mamba said that he wanted out of Los Angeles and then promptly changed his mind after a talk with the Zen Master. Bryant went from hate to love in a matter of hours with his bosses, but what else can you expect out of Hollywood. We’re guessing that the twists and turns aren’t going to be ending anytime soon because even if Bryant has supposedly changed his mind about the situation, he still had some harsh words for his bosses which they probably won’t be forgetting anytime soon. And any coach in the league who was interested in Bryant before his about face will still be enamored with Mr. 81 now and they could end up sending LA some very tempting offers. But then again, we all know that there is virtually no way a trade could end up in the Lakers favor.

3. Dunk of the Day
This has nothing to do with the NBA but we figured that with hops like Willie Warren displayed in the “’07 Memorial Day Classic” it will be just a matter of time until we see this kid on the NBA big stage. Well, he’s at least good enough to get on Streetball with Hot Sauce and the crew.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Tim Duncan vs. Utah 29 min, 21 pts (FG: 7-14, FT: 7-8), 7 reb, 3 ast

Buzzer Beater: LeBron James looked like a whole different player during his two wins at home compared to the Cavs pair of losses in Detroit. Hopefully he can transition that energy into Game 5, which will be in the Pistons’ gym, because there is no way Cleveland can rely on rookie Daniel Gibson to produce the way he did in Game 4. Detroit has players who thrive in the big moments and it doesn’t get any bigger than having a 3-2 advantage with a trip to the finals on the line, so expect Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton to bust out of their mini-slumps in front of their home crowd. LeBron can’t win the game by himself but he has got to be an aggressive scorer to win this series. There’s plenty of time to be Magic Johnson later; the Cavs need LBJ to channel his inner Michael Jordan if they are going to keep their drive for a ring alive.